Excellent news. Our Dev and QA teams have completed their work. All changes have passed.
The YouTube repairs will be released to our Production environment tomorrow morning, Wednesday (03/29/2017). Although this is two days earlier than previously estimated, we felt it was important to release the update as soon as it was available. The update will include a new version of our server, template and player software.
Customers will see the YouTube templates restored to the Content Create process. Customers with YouTube content already published will have their content resume playback automatically.
Note – As previously shared, not included in this fix: Preview in the ScreenManager app; the Browser player; templates with overlays on Windows devices (weather/logo/news layered on top of YouTube videos).
The YouTube fix is no-go for Wednesday 03/22/2017.
Our quality assurance process has uncovered corner cases with older versions of Windows 7, as well as a conflict with playback for customers using our Browser Player. These player versions are now out-of-date, but nonetheless the issues would disrupt service for many longtime and loyal customers. The corner cases are now being addressed; unfortunately, this will push out our release date.
The new release estimate is Friday, March 31st.
Note – Based on our current findings our team expects that YouTube features will be permanently disabled for devices running the Browser Player (built circa 2009). The current fix is simply to stop YouTube from disabling the player so that other content can play normally. Customers still using the Browser Player or running older versions of Windows are encouraged to upgrade their player to a ScreenScape Connect at their earliest opportunity.
Good news. The progress from earlier this week has resulted in a resolution to the YouTube issue.
The new approach successfully restores YouTube access to full-screen and multi-panel templates. The video decoding employs hardware acceleration (critically important for smooth playback on devices with lightweight CPUs). The memory leak problem has been addressed.
The current estimate for release is Wednesday 03/22/2017. This release date is subject to change pending the results of extended QA testing.
Note – Not included in this fix: Preview in the ScreenManager app; the Browser player; templates with overlays on Windows devices (weather/logo/news layered on top of YouTube videos).
Our Development team continues to work on resolving this issue.
Excitement was high over the weekend after we had a breakthrough and sent a possible fix to QA. Unfortunately, extended QA testing identified a memory leak resulting from the new code. Our player is designed to auto-detect memory leaks and reboot itself in response, so the new code would result in an unacceptably high reboot frequency.
Although we’re back to the drawing board to address the leak, there’s renewed optimism that the new approach will result in a solution.
We remain committed to solving this situation for our customers and will post further progress here.
Original post (2/24/17)
Earlier this week our Support and QA teams identified that playlists with YouTube content were generating unexpected errors. The errors were caused by a recent change by YouTube to their player API. Internally the Smart Player software throws an error on the attempt to stream the video. The players handle this type of error by rebooting. Not only is the loss of the YouTube content distressing, but the hardware reboots are also highly disruptive.
In response, as of this morning’s maintenance release (2/24/17):
- YouTube content is disabled from playback. SmartPlayer will automatically skip any playlist item that contains a YouTube video.
- All YouTube templates are ‘hidden’ from users in ScreenManager Create – new YouTube content cannot be created.
These immediate changes are designed to stop the reboot disruptions. They will bring players back to a stable state.
In addition please note that:
- Users in ScreenManager can still see YouTube content already created.
- Playlists in ScreenManager remain unchanged.
- In the event that we restore YouTube functionality, no action will be required for these playlists to begin playlist their YouTube content again.
Our development team is now working on restoring full access to YouTube content. Progress on this effort will be posted here.
We apologise to the ScreenScape / YouTube users affected by this issue. We appreciate your patience while we address the problem.